Saturday, 26 December 2020
So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. Revelation 8:6
With the opening of the seventh seal being complete, the focus now turns to the sounding of the trumpet judgments. This is based on verse 8:2 that said, “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.” This was followed by the angel with the incense being offered before God and the casting of the censer to earth. With that complete, John now states, “So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets.”
As noted before, and without claiming this dogmatically, this is speaking of the seven Spirits before the throne of God. Being called angels does not mean they are created beings. Rather, and as noted, the word translated as angels signifies a messenger. It is a title elsewhere applied to the Lord Jesus, and there is no reason to exclude this representing seven of His roles being played out in a heavenly apocalyptic scene. Just as Christ opened the seven seals, so now, He may be the One to sound the seven trumpets.
And there is no logical contradiction in saying each is the Lord. Jesus is the One on the throne (5:1), He is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah (5:5), He is also the Lamb as though it had been slain (5:6), He is also the Angel ascending from the east having the seal of the living God (7:2), and He is also the Angel with the censer (meaning the Mediator) before God (8:3). He is each of these at the same time. As such, we are seeing the work of God in Christ being relayed in individual roles as He works out the unfolding narrative. Again, this is one possibility, and these could simply be seven created angels. The text does not provide enough information to be dogmatic either way.
With this understood, it says these seven angels (messengers) “prepared themselves to sound.” The Greek means, “prepared themselves to sound the trumpets.” In other words, they have brought the trumpets to their mouths in preparation for sounding.
Life application: The events leading up to this verse have brought the world to the point of the trumpet judgments that will follow. Angels have been used in history as God’s ministers of such judgment, including the land of Egypt when they enslaved Israel –
“He cast on them the fierceness of His anger,
Wrath, indignation, and trouble,
By sending angels of destruction among them.” Psalm 78:49
These coming trumpet judgments will be directed at the world at it is actively working against Israel, God’s covenant people. Similar to the opening of the seals, the first four trumpets will come as a group. This will be followed by two distinct trumpets, and then a last trumpet. The symmetry in these different judgments is remarkable and shows a consistency of how judgment is dealt with by God.
As He doesn’t change, this is to be expected. Everything is following a plan known to Him and being worked out by Him. And yet, He grants man free will in the process of these things. His foreknowledge does not negate our free will though. We must willingly come to God through Christ in order to be saved. If you have never done this, today is the day. Don’t hesitate. God loves you enough to have sent His own Son to die for your sins. He loves you enough to have sent JESUS.
Lord God, we know that You hear the prayers of Your people and that You are always there to defend them. We can look at past events recorded in the Bible, and we can see how faithful You have been to Your people. And so, we know that You will be the same towards us today. What have we to worry about when You are always attentive to our needs and our protection? Thank You for this. Amen.